Lennox Looking for a Home

One of the Seattle Storm's newest players is hoping to be one who sticks around.

Lennox has been selected in both of the WNBA's Dispersal Drafts.
Barry Gossage/WNBAE/Getty
Selected by the Storm in January's Dispersal Draft, guard Betty Lennox will be joining her fourth WNBA team in three years. Traded to the Miami Sol in June 2002, Lennox saw the Sol fold months after her arrival in Miami. She went to the Cleveland Rockers in last year's Dispersal Draft, only to see the Rockers too fold at season's end. That much upheaval could make any player long for a place to call home.

In Seattle more than a month before the start of training camp to participate in the Storm's "Stormin' the Sound" campaign, Lennox says that's exactly how she feels.

"My focus is to be part of the team and then be a franchise player and make it your home," says Lennox. "You'll feel more comfortable instead of hopping from team to team. That would be good for me to be able to shop for a place to call home.

"I won't call it home unless I've been here at least three or four seasons. I won't go and have a good season and then call it my home. I've done that before, and nothing but turmoil comes out of it."

The last reference is clearly to Lennox's time with the Minnesota Lynx, her first WNBA franchise, which ended unhappily. The WNBA's Rookie of the Year, an All-Star, and an All-WNBA second-team selection in 2000, Lennox saw her 2001 season interrupted by arthroscopic surgery on her left hip. The following year, she struggled to find a role before being traded.

Lennox feels there is a role for her in Seattle, citing the Storm amongst the teams she thought would be a good fit when she analyzed potential destinations prior to the Dispersal Draft. Alongside MVP Lauren Jackson and All-Star Sue Bird, the Storm was somewhat short of scoring punch off the bench and on the perimeter. While Lennox is known for her scoring, she emphasizes other aspects of the game in terms of what she brings to the Storm.

"I don't think my focus will be coming in here and scoring," Lennox says. "Of course you've got the MVP on the team, I just think I will be an addition, be able to help out in scoring and do the other dirty work, be the hard-nosed defensive player, the gnat on the team. I think my scoring ability is a plus, but I don't think it's going to be something that we'll live or die by, my scoring. Which is going to make me feel comfortable as a player coming in, more relaxed to do what I need to do to participate."

As training camp draws near, Lennox is still uncertain precisely what role she'll be playing for the Storm. With Coach Anne Donovan out scouting, Lennox has only had a couple of conversations with her new coach. At the same time, the Storm has plenty of moves to make, notably deciding what to do in April's draft, that could affect Lennox. While she eventually hopes to move into the starting lineup, Lennox says she has no problem coming off the bench.

"Yes, I've played it throughout my whole career, so it really does not make a difference to me," Lennox says. "Being on the team is what makes a difference in my heart."

Lennox credits growing up with and playing against her five brothers (Lennox is one of nine children) with shaping her game and helping her deal with the physical nature of the WNBA.

Lennox with kids on a recent "Stormin' the Sound" outing.
Sarah Childs/Sonics Photos
"It helped me a whole lot. It helped me to get to where I am today, because I'm a fearless player, standing at 5-6," explains Lennox (officially listed at 5-8). "I think I play bigger than my size, and that's just because I have a really big heart and God has given me the ability and talent to go out and use it."

The influence of her brothers also helped lead the self-described tomboy into bodybuilding, which she told WNBA.com she would pursue professionally were it not for her WNBA career.

"I think it helps me out a lot, because a lot of players don't like to lift," Lennox notes of the weightlifting. "Me, you have to get me out of the gym. I like it because it makes me feel good inside, makes me feel better on the court. I am small, but I play real big, have a big heart. In order to do all of that, first of all, you have to put in the dirty work, you have to put in the work in the weight room. That separates the good players from the great players."

In addition to getting in shape for the upcoming season by lifting weights and working out at The Furtado Center, Lennox has been meeting the Seattle community for "Stormin' the Sound". A nominee for the WNBA's Community Assist Award in July 2003, Lennox enjoys the interaction with kids and fans.

"It's good," Lennox says. "I like being able to go out into the community and participate with kids, to touch them and be a positive role model. Going out into the community and putting smiles on people's faces is what makes my day. I'm really enjoying it."

Alas, between the appearances and working out, Lennox says she hasn't had much of an opportunity to explore her new city. She hopes she has many more years to do so in the future.